Integrating Lecture and Laboratory in Health Sciences Courses Improves Student Satisfaction and Performance

Document Type

Article - Merrimack Access Only

Publication Title

Journal of College Science Teaching


National Science Teachers Association

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

Students often struggle in introductory health sciences courses; some students have difficulty in upper level classes. To address this, we converted three lecture/lab courses, traditional firstyear Anatomy and Physiology (A&P I), upper level Biomechanics, and upper level Microbiology to an integrated studio model. We used the Student Assessment of Learning Gains perceptual survey to assess student and instructor reactions to the change and analyzed rates of unsatisfactory grades and quiz performance. Reaction (220 students, 15 instructors) to the new model was highly positive, and performance improvement was seen. Student perceptions were consistent across courses and agreed closely with instructor perceptions. Performance improvements were seen in reduced C–, D, F, W (Withdrawal) rates in A&P. There was no clear pattern in quiz performance, despite reduced in-class time. With typically high grades in upper level courses, we saw no change in performance in biomechanics, while student satisfaction was high in biomechanics and in microbiology. These results, with increased efficiency in staffing time and scheduling, have led us to convert all department lecture-lab courses to the studio format.